31 posts in this topic
I know this topic has appeared off and on over the years, but I'd like to better understanding on the theory and principle of using one over the other, ie. depth, and target id and what compromises do I induce. The reason I ask is the new V4 for XP Deus has the ability to set a minus discrimination. It kills the ability to use the "horseshoe" screen for ferrous target ID, but VID numbers are tolerable. What theoretically happens if I set a negative discrimination, but use Notch to handle ordinary ferrous trash?
As a rule do the lower vlf frequencies punch deeper than the higher ones, say 4.8 verses 14khz?
But what is the trade off? Are some frequencies better for silver coins? How does iron enter into this?
Need to understand how this all fits together!
Thanks for any and all answers.
By Steve Herschbach
When I posted the video showing the Makro Gold Racer recovery speed using two nails and a gold ring, it caused me to reflect on the various internet nail tests. Nearly all employ modern round nails, when these items rarely present issues.
The common VDI (visual discrimination scale) puts ferrous items at the low end of the scale, and items with progressively increasing conductivity higher on the scale. The problem is the size of items also matters. Small gold is low on the scale, and the larger the gold, the higher it reads on the scale. A silver quarter reads higher than a silver dime, etc.
All manner of ferrous trash including medium and smaller nails fall where they should when using discrimination and are easily tuned out. The problem is large iron and steel items, and ferrous but non-magnetic materials like stainless steel. Steel plates, large bolts, broken large square nails, axe heads, hammer heads, broken pry bar and pick tips, etc. all tend to read as high conductive targets. Usually it is just the sheer size pushing it higher up the scale.
Detectors also love things with holes, which makes for a perfect target by enabling and enhancing near perfect eddy currents, making items appear larger than they really are. Steel washers and nuts are a big problem in this regard, often reading as non-ferrous targets.
Oddball shapes cause problems, particularly in flat sheet steel. Old rusted cans often separate into irregular shaped flat pieces, and roofing tin (plated steel) and other sheet steel items are my number one nemesis around old camp sites. Bottle caps present a similar issue in modern areas. These items produce complex "sparky" eddy currents with both ferrous and non-ferrous indications. Many thin flat steel items produce remarkably good gold nugget type signals in old camp areas.
Two general tips. Concentric coils often handle ferrous trash better than DD coils. A DD coil is often the culprit when dealing with bottle caps where a concentric coil often makes them easy to identify. Another thing is to use full tones. Many ferrous items are producing both ferrous and non-ferrous tones. Blocking ferrous tones allows only the non-ferrous tone to be heard, giving a clear "dig me" signal. This was the real bane of single tone machines with a simple disc knob to eliminate ferrous objects. You still heard the non-ferrous portion of the signal. Multi tones allows you to hear the dual ferrous/non-ferrous reports from these troublesome items, helping eliminate most of them.
Certain detectors can also show multiple target responses on screen at once, like the White's models featuring the SignaGraph (XLT, DFX, etc.) and CTX with target trace. These displays show target "smearing" that stands out differently from the clean VDI responses produced by most good items. A machine with a simple VDI numeric readout can only show you one number at a time and the only indication you might get is "dancing" numbers that refuse to lock on. Usually though the predominate response overrides and fakes you out. This is where a good high end visual display capable of putting all VDI response on screen simultaneously can really help out.
I have been collecting these odd iron and steel items to practice with and to help me evaluate which machines might do best in ferrous trash. The main thing I wanted to note here is contrived internet videos with common round nails often present a misleading picture. Many machines do very well on nails yet fail miserably on flat steel.
Is Minelab the only one that uses electronic noise cancel feature??
Do they have patents associate with this feature?
Would like to see other manufacturers use some thing similar on their detectors.
Or a manufacturer should provide actual visual indication of emi levels depending on frequency used to include offsetting.
Not have the user have to use their ears to decide or even try comparing on buried targets.
Should not be trial and error.
And maybe even a system were the operator is warned,,say if emi changes and the current selected frequency is possibly not operating at optimum.
I do realize with a coil being swept over the ground, this could be difficult to do.
By Steve Herschbach
I am going through one of those periods where I load up a bit on new detectors and let it all sort out. Darwin's Survival Of The Fittest Detectors! This winter a number will not survive and will be looking for new home. This is the only way I have found that works for me. Detectors that serve a good purpose for me get used, others end up sitting. If they sit long enough, they are no longer needed.
I have my nugget detecting fairly well sorted out. The GPZ 7000 gets used 90% of the time. I might pull out a VLF for a really trashy place, or for where the gold is smaller than the GPZ can hit (really small!). I do keep a Garrett ATX around to handle salt ground or oddball hot rocks the GPZ has trouble with but those situations have proven quite rare so far.
So the GPZ is an obvious keeper. The ATX does double duty as my favorite water hunting machine so there is another.
In the land of VLF however it is more complicated. I have this idea that a good selectable frequency detector might really do the trick in replacing two or more other models. The key there however is what I am going to go ahead and call "frequency spread" for lack of a better term.
What do I mean by frequency spread? Simply put, the number of kHz between the lowest and highest frequency the detector can operate at. The lowest frequency is basically the "large item" frequency that more easily handles bad ground, and the high frequency is the "small item" frequency that tends to have more issues with mineralized ground or hot rocks.
The high frequency option is critical for a person like me who nugget hunts. To really be able to replace machines like the 45 kHz Minelab Gold Monster 1000, 48 kHz White's GMT, 56 kHz Makro Gold Racer, or 71 kHz Fisher Gold Bug 2, the highest frequency option of the detector needs to be 30 kHz or higher or as close to that as is possible. Low frequencies in the single digits are great for coin hunting or very large gold nuggets in bad ground. Frequencies in the teens are a great compromise.
Nokta Impact 5 kHz, 14 kHz, and 20 kHz (15 kHz lowest to highest)
XP DEUS Low Frequency Coil 4 kHz, 8 kHz, 12 kHz, and 18 kHz (14 kHz lowest to highest)
Rutus Alter 4.4 kHz to 18 kHz in 0.2 kHz steps (13.6 kHz lowest to highest)
White's V3i 2.5 kHz, 7.5 kHz, 22.5 kHz (20 kHz lowest to highest - bonus - runs in multifrequency mode)
I am still waiting on the XP DEUS High Frequency Elliptical Coil 14 kHz, 30 kHz, and 81 kHz (67 khz lowest to highest). The XP HF 9" round running at 14 kHz, 30 khz, and 59 khz (45 kHz lowest to highest) is currently available.
In theory the White's V3i is a real winner here but I have just never really taken to the V3i as a prospecting detector. I have to be honest and say that so far the Impact floats my boat more in that regard due to its more traditional approach to a detector interface, all metal modes, and ground balancing. The problem with all of them though is they just don't reach high enough to be used both as coin and jewelry machines and yet still be capable of retiring the high frequency nugget detectors. And that is why I am still patiently waiting for that XP Deus V4 high frequency elliptical coil. At 81 kHz (or 59 kHz in 9" round version) the Deus HF coils on paper at least could in theory make the high frequency nugget detectors redundant. I have to admit I still have doubts however. So far dedicated specifically tuned single frequency detectors have always won the day. For a lot of people however, a selectable frequency machine might prove to be "good enough".
The downside with the Deus is that to get the deeper seeking lower frequency large coil option you have to wrap up quite a bit of money into two coils. The 9.5" elliptical is just not going to reach real deep due to its small size. I have the 11" round low frequency coil which can run as low as 4 kHz, so together the two coils make a pretty formidable package. The other machines however can run both much smaller and much larger coils, and at considerably less cost than what DEUS coils cost due to each one being a self contained metal detector. It may be that the XP HF 9" round running at 14 kHz, 30 khz, and 59 khz (45 kHz lowest to highest) is the better compromise option for most people than the 5.5" x 9.5" elliptical.
The Impact does suit me as far as the way it functions and I like the excellent inexpensive coil selection. It is a shame it weighs twice as much as the DEUS, but that may actually be a benefit when it comes to balancing large coils. Overall at the moment I am really liking the Impact - I just wish the frequency had topped out higher. I really wanted more like 5 - 15 - 30 kHz. Going from 14 kHz to 20 kHz is not quite providing the extra "pop" on tiny gold I would like to see.